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UNESCO's flagship O3 Programme empowered more than 30 million learners to prevent HIV

UNESCO’s flagship Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future (O3) Programme is holding its Annual Review and Partners’ Meeting from 4 to 6 May 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The meeting will be opened by the Honorable Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education in South Africa. The O3 Programme, run in partnership with ministries of education and health, supports 33 countries across sub-Saharan Africa to work towards a region where adolescents and young people are empowered, healthy and resilient and have the capacity to reach their full potential and contribute to the development of their community, country and region.

As 2021 marked the fourth year of the largest programme in Africa on sexuality education (SE) as well as safe, inclusive and healthy learning environments. UNESCO, its partners, and high-level representatives from Education Ministries, are gathering to review O3’s transformative results focusing on children, adolescents and young people:

· 30 million learners received sexuality education in 61 000 primary and secondary schools

· More than 50 million young people in and out of school were reached through multiple media platforms, including television lessons, interactive radio lessons, social media and mobile applications

· 325,000 in-service and pre-service teachers have been trained and equipped to deliver quality, age-appropriate and culturally sensitive SE

· Adolescents and young people with disabilities were supported to access sexual and reproductive health information and services

· More than 30,000 parent-teacher associations were reached as key partners in the health and well-being of children and young people

· 20 million community members were sensitized to the importance of keeping girls in school

· More than 700 religious leaders have been trained to train others in supporting adolescent’s health and well-being.

2021 was also the first year of UNESCO’s O3PLUS Programme, which targets young people in higher and tertiary education institutions. O3PLUS, along with relevant regional structures, national ministries, higher and tertiary education institutions (HTEIs) and key partners, supports innovation in access to life skills-based sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for HTEI students while advocating for policy and practice changes to make campuses safe and inclusive learning environments for students and staff.

Through the generous support of the governments of Sweden, Norway, France, Switzerland, and Ireland, and the Packard Foundation, these programmes align with UNESCO’s current efforts to address the intersections of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (education), 3 (health), and 5 (gender equality) and contribute to a sustainable future for Africa’s children and young people.

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